Reading FC Women concede five first-half goals against a visiting West Ham side fighting for WSL survival.
A barrage on the Reading goal in the first-half defined the game, as West Ham’s frenzied attack on the Royals resulted in a remarkable five goals in the first 45 minutes, a deficit that was far too great for the home-side to recover from.
Kenza Dali’s 7th minute lofty cross-come-shot made its way into the back of the Reading net, and Reading were suddenly on the backfoot early, before the floodgates well and truly opened.
Three minutes later, Katarina Svitkova met another deep cross at the back-post and converted a header from close-range, before – just one minute later – Dagny Bryjarsduttir won the ball in front of goal and laid it off for Martha Thomas to tap in, despite Grace Moloney getting a hand to it.
A shell-shocked Reading finally got time to breathe and revaluate the situation, beginning to knock the ball around and break forward through the channels.
Rachel Rowe provided a cross for Fara Williams, who rose to meet the ball, but her powerful header was just wide of the mark.
With a monumental task ahead of them, Reading kept pushing, but on the half-hour mark, it was the same story again, as West Ham broke down the right-hand side and Thomas found herself in front of goal for an easy conversion to put the visitors 4-0 up.
Thomas got her hat-trick with a first time lob of Moloney who ran from her line to meet the ball, to end a quite unbelievable first-half.
Half-time: Reading FC Women 0 – 5 West Ham United Women
Reading began the half with a definite urgency. Amalie Eikeland made way for Emma Harries at half-time, and the Royals looked to get the speedy forward in on goal, straight away.
Rowe had a pair of chances; one was a shot on the West Ham goal from just outside the area, but the curling ball ended just wide of the mark. The second would have been a goal of the season contender had it dipped in, as Rowe volleyed from some distance, but Courtney Brosnan tracked back and tipped the ball over for a corner.
Chances were had by Harries and Carter, but West Ham could afford to defend in numbers, as they failed to get forward for most of the second frame, and Reading were unable to net a consolation goal.
Full-time: Reading FC Women 0 – 5 West Ham United Women
Reading FC Women: Moloney, Leine, Cooper, Woodham, Rowe, Harding, James, Fishlock, Williams, Carter, Eikeland (Harries 46’).
Substitutes not used: Nayler, Roberts, Childerhouse, Jeon, Flores.
Yellow cards: Cooper (44’)
West Ham United Women: Brosnan, Kvamme (Pacheco 77’), Flaherty, Thomas (Nor 82’), Svitkova, Longhurst (Denton 90’), Dali, Fisk, Cissoko, Van Egmond, Bryjarsduttir
Substitutes not used: Ramsey, Barker.
Yellow cards: Flaherty (72’)
Goals: Dali (7’), Svitkova (10’), Thomas (11’, 29’, 37)
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